Older and wiser South Grand Prairie boys basketball ready to take on best in Texas

One thing to know about players on the South grand prairie boys basketball team is that they hate to lose.

“As a coach, that’s what you want to surround yourself with,” South Grand Prairie coach Brandon Bennett said. " They are willing to compete night in and night out.”

That mindset should help South Grand Prairie meet its ultimate goal.

Like dozens of other teams in Texas, South Grand Prairie has its sights set on winning a state championship. With a 21–6 overall record and a 5–1 record in District 8-6A play, South Grand Prairie is off to a great start.

But the work began earlier this season before the district slate. Bennett scheduled tough opponents from across Texas to prepare his players for the types of teams they might face en route to a coveted state title game.

These teams included state-ranked squads in Keller, Pinkston, North Crowley, Allen, Lancaster and Round Rock Stony Point. South Grand Prairie beat Keller, Lancaster and Pinkston. It lost by a point to North Crowley and by four points to Stony Point.

Bennett said his players responded well to the early-season challenges, and now they’re hoping to conquer 8-6A, a district with great competition.

“Any given night, you can lose,” Bennett said. “The coaches do such a great job of preparing the kids, and we have some really great talent in the district, so you have to show up every night ready to go or someone’s going to knock you off and you’re going to lose a basketball game.”

Bennett is correct. Up until earlier this week, South Grand Prairie had not dropped any of its first five district games. But then the team stopped by Haltom, which beat South Grand Prairie 62-61.

South Grand Prairie will have another go at Haltom next month in the second round of district play. While his team has lost six games, Bennett is convinced that South Grand Prairie can beat anyone.

Part of that confidence stems from possessing star players in junior guard Markece Young and junior guard Cameron Carroll, a three-star recruit in the Class of 2025. Young and Carroll combine for an average of 23.6 points per game. But scoring isn’t their only asset.

“They can handle it. They can dribble it, pass it, shoot it,” Bennett said.

But they’ve also got the intangibles.

“They’re gritty, tough kids,” Bennett said. “They don’t back down from anybody.”

And one more thing: Carroll and Young, along with their teammates, are all grown up now. Bennett said South Grand Prairie had several sophomores on its roster last year, yet still managed to finish 20–14 overall and 8–4 in District 8-6A before making a first round playoff exit. Now, they are older, wiser and ready to take on the rest of the state.

“They grew up in the fire last year,” Bennett said. “And coming out of that season made them so good this year.

On Twitter/X: @t_myah

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